In a statement, Collins says this information was shared with him:
Figures shared with our office today are as follows:
- Of the 716 veterans possibly exposed, 174 passed away prior to the alert
- Of those living, 394 veterans have been tested
- 12 tested positive for HEP B (VA says there is no way of knowing if this exposure is how the patient contracted disease)
- 6 tested positive for HEP C (VA says there is no way of knowing if this exposure is how the patient contracted disease)
- 27 results still pending
- VA still trying to contact 94 veterans to get tested
- 26 refused to be tested.
"The report by the VA Office of Inspector General is alarming. It reveals a frightening level of incompetence by VA personnel, including preventable bureaucratic inefficiencies that delayed important information from reaching patients. It was a total systemic breakdown."
"The report makes several recommendations to improve health care provider training on medical devices, to enhance internal oversight and inspections, and to inform patients and the public more expeditiously when an error occurs. These recommendations -- and more -- must be adopted."
"Western New York's congressional delegation will remain united in its resolve to ensure that these reforms are implemented immediately, so that this deplorable incident is not repeated in Buffalo or anywhere across the country. And we will ensure that the veterans who were impacted receive the very best care possible."
"Our veterans put their lives on the line to defend the United States. A good and grateful nation owes them far better than this."